American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals


Microscope-Assisted Operations

Reconstructive microsurgery focuses on repairing intricate structures such as blood vessels and nerves less than a few millimeters in diameter.

What are the steps of a microsurgery procedure?

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Microsurgical procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia due to their precise nature and often extended duration.

Step 2 – The incision

A free tissue transfer using microsurgery involves a donor site and recipient site. First, the recipient site may be prepared following surgical removal of cancer or scar tissue. Tiny blood vessels and nerves are carefully dissected at the recipient site. Once a suitable donor site is selected, tissue can be isolated on its unique blood supply. The tissue is then disconnected from the body, and blood vessels are reattached at the recipient site using an operating microscope.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Depending on your condition and specific procedure, you may have incisions that need to be closed with removable sutures, skin adhesives, or dissolving sutures.

Step 4 – See the results

The results of microsurgery will develop over time as swelling subsides. Your final outcome may not be realized for several months.


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